Krzysztof Cibor
25 September 2013

Partnership - how to build the strong sector and solve the problems

Peer-Review meeting in Trento. Photo (c) Toby Johnson

The peer review meeting focused on partnership was the second meeting of Social Entrepreneurship Network. It was organized on 12-13th of September 2013 in Trento (Italy). Network, consisted by national experts, ESF managing authorities and people engaged in social economy, discussed three cases of institutional partnership from Scotland, Trentino (IT) and Poland.
The three initiatives discussed during the seminar are at different levels – national, regional and local – and show how policy-makers can work with the social economy to solve serious social, problems like long-term unemployment and reoffending.
The Scottish case concerned the Public-Social Partnership in Low Moss prison. Public institutions, social enterprises and NGOs join their forces and run the deep participatory process to design and apply a new service of more effective trough-care of offenders. One of the most important goal is to reduce a reoffending.
The Trentino Intervento 18 case is about the cooperation between the local public employment service, the cooperative movement and the business sector. The aim is to create jobs for people from different disadvantaged groups. Coops give them employment and on-the-job training and the employment agency invests public money to reimburse the costs of such activity. Eventually the beneficiaries of Intervento 18 find employment in local enterprises.
The Polish case describes an institutional partnership to build a strategic approach for the development of social economy on the national level.  The Working Group on Systemic Solutions appointed by Polish prime minister and comprising people from local and national public authorities, the social economy sector, employers and other stakeholders, works on law, financial, educational and strategic solutions in the field of social economy.
Members of the Network did not just work on the cases. An important part of the seminar was meeting cooperatives from the Trentino region, which presented their achievements during the seminar as well as later on, by serving dinner for participants.
As Toby Johnson, a Network expert, wrote after the meeting: "We were fortunate to be invited to spend the evening in the Samuele social co-operative. This is located on a hillside with wonderful views, in the Villa San Ignazio building that the declining Jesuit order no longer has a use for. The co-op started making leather goods, expanded by opening shop in the town centre, and then opened a bar and restaurant.
The next peer review will be hold in Malmö (Sweden) on 5-6th December, to discuss support for the growth and development of social enterprises